#Animal Welfare

Hi all,

After watching Jamie Oliver’s show 'Jamie, saving our bacon' last week on factory pig farming in Europe, I was horrified to learn just how barbaric it is and the senseless torture that pigs endure.

It prompted me to research pig ‘factory farming’ in Australia. I expected to find our practices more humane, incorporating a higher sense of responsibility towards animal welfare. To my shock and horror, I learnt that our pig factory farming practices were similar and in some cases even worse than in Europe and the current 'code of practice' is just a guideline for farmers to follow - there is no law governing this practice in Australia and as such we are failing to protect millions of pigs each year from acts of cruelty.

I hope to inform, educate and empower the Australian community so we can facilitate urgent and much needed change in this industry.


Meanwhile, here’s what my research uncovered:

1) Scientists have shown that pigs have the same intelligence as a 3 year old human child;

2) Pigs are as smart as dogs (some say smarter);

3) Pigs are not given straw to lay on for comfort and for foraging, instead they live on cold concrete floors, wooden slates or just mud in small pens or sow stalls. Because of their high intelligence pigs need to stimulate their mind with foraging in straw;

4) Pregnant pigs are being kept in what's called sow stalls which are single stalls just big enough for the pig to fit in (they can not turn around or move properly, or even scratch themselves). Research shows that pigs are social animals and like interacting with each other and shouldn't be isolated;

5) Pregnant pigs are kept in these sow stalls during their 16 week pregnancy. Allowing pregnant pigs to be confined and barely able to move in sow stalls for their entire pregnancy (or even a single day) cannot be legally or ethically justified, when the same treatment of a dog would constitute a cruelty offence;

6) When the pregnant pig is about to give birth, she is moved to an even smaller stall called a farrowing crate
where her body is encircled by metal bars (to even further limit movement) to have her piglets;

7) Mother pigs are provided with no bedding or straw to make a birthing ‘nest’, so she has no choice but to give birth to her piglets on a hard concrete floor. Nurturing and interacting with her young is impossible as a cruel metal frame imprisons her;

8) The mother will watch on helplessly as her babies have their teeth clipped, their tails cut off, without pain relief - she listens to their screams powerless to do anything;

9) Her male piglets are then castrated - WITHOUT ANAESTHETIC - an incision is made with a scalpel to the behind - then the ball sacs is pulled out with the tendons - while the little pig shrieks in absolute pain. We wouldn't see our cats and dogs being neutered in this way, then why allow it for equally intelligent animals;

10) Her young are removed after 3 or 4 weeks, she is impregnated again, and the cycle of suffering and deprivation continues. She is being used as a battery incubator and spends her life going back and forth from pens to sow stalls;

11) A day eventually comes when for the first time in her life she experiences sun on her back and fresh air to breathe. What she doesn’t know as she is loaded on that truck, so lame, ill or ‘unproductive’ that she is no longer capable of creating profit, is that it is also to be the last day of her life...

12) Meanwhile, at about 3-4 months of age her piglets are put on trucks and taken to the slaughter house too;

13) The pigs are given an electric shock to the head and their throats slashed (so we can have pork on our tables);

14) 5 million pigs are slaughtered each year for food in Australia;

15) Research shows that the abuse these pigs endure traumatise them so much their eyes dull and they become depressed (wouldn't we all). I know how frustrated I get on a 6 hour flight interstate. Imagine spending years not being able to turn around, move freely, get comfortable and to scratch!;

16) Pigs are injected with a growth hormone which means their legs have trouble holding the weight because they grow so quickly;

17) Pigs can’t exercise because they’re in small pens with many other pigs. As a result the muscles in their legs waste away and some end up starving to death because they can't reach food to eat.

Most Australians are appalled by animal cruelty and I'm sure (just like me) you were unaware of the senseless suffering of our pigs in factory farms. In addition, I would expect that most of us didn't realise that our supermarket purchases support one of the cruellest industries in the country.

Additionally, pigs have been denied the legislative protection from acts of cruelty afforded to other animals for economic reasons. By complying with an industry ‘code of practice’, industry operators gain exemptions from prosecutions and do no have to provide the same standard of care of animals that is expected of every other member of the Australian community.

Therefore, because of the lack of current laws and political processes we are failing to protect these animals from suffering and acts of cruelty. The power to create needed change for millions of pigs in Australia rests with us.

I have put together this petition so we can speak up for the speechless (pigs) and help to get the ‘Australian Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals (pigs)' reviewed, positive changes implemented and then made into legislation. I will be writing letters to targeted industry politicians in each State and our supermarket chains to put pressure on those that can also help to make a difference.

We, the undersigned, call on the Australian state and federal government and supermarket chains to help eliminate the cruel treatment of pigs in factory pig farming. We would like to request the following changes to the 'Australian Model Code of Practice' (for pigs) be made into legislation.


1) Banned use of all sow stalls (immediately and for government to ensure this happens with financial support if necessary);

2) For all pen sizes to increase to specifications that are necessary for good pig welfare;

3) Anaesthetic and pain relief to be given to pigs being neutered and when clipping of teeth, ears and tails occur;

4) Routine and random inspections by welfare groups of pig farms to ensure legislation is being adhered to;

5) Food labelling on pork products to include a star rating to inform customers of the quality of pork they are purchasing (e.g. whether it’s factory farmed or free-range – just like consumer have the choice to purchase free-range eggs);

6) To discuss the way forward for our chain stores to support only those farmers who undertake good welfare practice of pig farming. Also to look at what financial support is necessary for industry during change (e.g. likely case that the cost of pork will increase);

7) Pigs to be exercised;

8) Straw to be a standard requirement in all pens;

9) Pigs to be free range - their pens to be outside so they can get sun with adequate shelter from wind and rain with straw bedding;

10) Banned use of growth hormones; and

11) Stipulation of how many pigs can be in one pen at any one time (to alleviate overcrowding and stress).

If you would like to be part of this and would like to have a say, then please sign this petition and forward this on to your network of friends and family so we can spread the word and really make a difference. Also, if you’re so inclined don’t buy pork products.

Thank you so much for helping in the plight of our Australian pigs to protect them from abuse.

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The Help end horrific practices of the Australian pork industry petition to Australia was written by JodieP and is in the category Animal Welfare at GoPetition.